(R, 1:43:12, Released 2011)
|Release Date:||Oct 14, 2011|
|DVD Release Date:||Jan 24, 2012|
|Starring:||Pollyanna McIntosh, Sean Bridgers, Angela Bettis, Lauren Ashley Carter, Zach Rand, Carlee Baker, Alexa Marcigliano, Shyla Molhusen, Marcia Bennett, Chris Krzykowski|
|Directed by:||Lucky McKee|
|Synopsis:||Family man and lawyer Christoper Cleek (Sean Bridgers) must do what he can to protect his family when he comes into contact with a feral woman (Pollyana McIntosh) living in the woods near his isolated country home. Through a series of harrowing encounters Cleek and his family quickly discover there is more to this woman than anyone would suspect and that sometimes the devil wears a handsome face. -- (C) Official Site|
|Full movie details|
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Other Top Reviews
December 31, 2012
Director of the incredible May takes over this sequel to Jack Ketchum's Offspring. This film is much better, as it has a quirky humorous tone that exists throughout and adds to the shocking moments. The Woman sees the last survivor from Offspring captured by a small town lawyer who wishes to 'civilise' her. As you can imagine, he's a bit of a dick, and the question around who is truly 'civilised' is raised. Sean Bridges gives an excellent creepy turn as the father of the family, who can be all smiles and sunshines before hitting a woman. The idea of feminism and strength plays throughout, and we see the negative effect Bridgers actions have on his family, especially his son. At times the tone is something bizarre, which may put viewers off, but overall this is a wonderfully crafted little horror film that works as a disturbing fable.
September 3, 2012
The eponymous character in "The Woman" is apparently the last survivor of a cannibalistic, feral tribe. This Tarzan-like jungle woman lives in a cave, roams around the woods in tiny rags, hunts animals with her dagger for food, and bathes in a little stream running across the woods. In a long drawn sequence, with drone-like sound effects, a daily routine of hers is shown along with a dream vision of a baby and a wild dog!
Needless to say, she is totally unclean, has a horridly dirty mouth, but teeth that bite like an alligator! In one of her bathing routines, she is spotted by a successful country lawyer, Chris Cleek (Sean Bridgers), through the scope of his hunting rifle, during one of his hunting trips in the woods. One wonders why this cave woman was never spotted before in all these years! Perhaps she has been a nomad all along, but didn't anyone ever discover her before, and hand her over to the authorities or provide help? No answers are provided for this implausibility.
Chris is immediately turned on by her beautiful body and animalistic body language and the mood suddenly shifts from dark and menacing to that of a light-hearted teeny bopper film, as some happy alternative pop-rock music starts playing, as Chris watches, like some curious teenager, his tongue almost sticking out, as the woman bathes and moves about in slow motion!
He promptly kidnaps her, brings her home and restrains her in his cellar! As it turns out, Chris has a family; a meek, but scary-looking wife Belle (Angela Bettis), two daughters, Darlin and Peggy (Shyla Molhusen and Lauren Ashley Carter respectively), the latter being a teenager, and an adolescent, aspiring basketball player, son, Brian (Zach Rand). But Chris himself comes across as a psychopath; a man who slaps his wife, mouths some cryptic ramblings, smirks wickedly and mumbles his dialog in a fashion that beats Harrison Ford in "Bladerunner"! This is the kind of character who drips wickedness from the first instance you set eyes on him.
Chris introduces his family to the woman and sets up tasks for each of the family members as a daily routine, as steps towards "civilizing" the woman! A totally lame explanation given, considering, shackling a woman up in the cellar like a circus animal and forcibly training her is hardly civilized behavior. The family members appear disturbed, but comply anyway. Over the next few days, Chris, and later his son, subject the hapless woman to inhuman treatment, force feeding her, dressing and undressing her at gunpoint, and also raping and molesting her, while she continues to remain shackled, all under the guise of turning her from an animal into a human!
That's not all! While the youngest member of the family (Darlin) remains oblivious to the goings-on, Belle and Peggy are visibly disturbed, while there's some other matter that also appears to be troubling Peggy. Her teacher (Carlee Baker) notices the change in her behavior and wonders what to do about it, while the primary characters, the family members continue to walk and talk like zombies throughout this bastardization of the horror genre. But what is bothersome is the inherent misogyny in the writing, and Jack Ketchum seems to revel in writing about women being brutally victimized. "The Woman", in fact, reminds of Jack Ketchum's earlier film adaptation, "The Girl Next Door" (2007), based on the real life incident of the torture and murder of Sylvia Likens during the 60s. That film was a more blatant torture porn show, depicting a series of brutal acts, unleashed on a teenaged girl, by a woman, her kids and the neighbouring kids, while keeping her restrained in a cellar!
"The Woman" almost treads similar ground, except it pretends to carry a "feminist" message. The only problem is, merely adding an uplifting ending can't make up for the various, unforgivable atrocities that almost all the women in this gruesome tale are subjected to. Sample this: Chris and his son, both rape and molest the cave woman, while she is still restrained, and the son even tortures her by piercing her nipple with a pair of pliers!! Other primary women characters in the film are collectively subjected to heinous acts like underage sexual abuse, brutal beating, slapping, punching in the stomach, verbal abuse, dragging around the lawn with hands tied, having their face eaten up, even being fed to the dogs! In the final act, in what seems to be served as comic relief, albeit in a macabre and bad taste, you even get to see one woman behaving like a dog!
If you have a writer that takes delight in creating situations that involve his female characters being subjected to atrocities, an able director usually does a good job of showcasing it, in a way that it gets under your skin. But Lucky McKee who gave us the wonderful "May" (2002) earlier, also starring Angela Bettis, misfires this time around with his shoddy writing (he has co-written the script with Ketchum) and substandard directing. One may argue, that director Lucky McKee, succeeds in emotionally draining the viewer out. While he tries, he doesn't entirely succeed, for our focus keeps shifting to how badly some scenes are directed, hence rather than get emotionally gutted with the happenings on screen, we are distracted by the poor execution.
Firstly, The soundtrack to the film is all wrong. Throughout the film there is background music that is completely out of sync with the nature of the scene being depicted on screen. Most of the music used is alternative or pop-rock that's a total misfit and completely ruins any chance of building tension in some of the film's more intense scenes. In fact, it near about drowns out some of the dialog in some seemingly ordinary, but important scenes, like the conversation between Peggy's teacher and her male colleague, where a background score simply wasn't necessary! Secondly, the film is almost devoid of any suspense, and you practically know how a scene is going to play out. Most of the shock value, then comes from the gore and the torture scenes! Such terrible handling, along with implausible situations, over-the-top characterization, and a hurried, unconvincing and unsatisfying climax, (albeit one that has enough "meat" to satiate the gore-hounds) bring the film down to the ground!
There is almost nothing that works in the favor of McKee's obnoxious film, apart from a commendable performance by Bettis; and yet she isn't half as great as she was in her earlier "May". Lauren Ashley Carter as Peggy, doesn't do much, except sulk and sob helplessly, while Pollyanna McIntosh hunts dogs, gets manhandled by the male characters, gets exhausted, while still maintaining a considerably menacing look on her face and growls, hisses and bites once in a while! One also wonders how a woman who has lived so far from civilization all her life, manages to maintain a completely clean-shaven upper lip, armpits and legs!
Zach Rand as Brian is completely wooden. Sean Bridgers delivers an irksome lead performance as he grimaces and mumbles his lines as if chewing gum! His lines are much clearer when he is hurling abuses at the women!
With this grisly, but flawed and completely pointless mess called "The Woman", what we get is yet another gory midnight horror, with lots of blood-and flesh-splatter and gruesome acts, but almost devoid of suspense or anything remotely exciting. In the end, it is simply akin to an exploitative grindhouse flick, with torture and misogynistic tendencies at its center. It is films like these, that are ruining the horror genre beyond redemption.
fb57802118October 16, 2011
A competently acted and well directed film that doesn't go as far as it wants to. Sure, the basis of the film is misogynistic--who can't see that? But it wants to be incisive in its analysis of that basis, and it doesn't go as far as it should. The movie sets up a straw man of misogyny in its main character, Chris Cleek, and is more willing to focus on him than his female victims. Add in a predictable ending (with a bizarre coda) and you've got "The Woman." Trust me--it's more shallow than it pretends to be.
April 30, 2012
Very good movie! It's disturbing, frightening, and outrageous! It's a little slow the first 45 minutes...but the pace quickly picks up into a one bloody good movie!
March 5, 2012
***1/2 out of ****
It's baffling to me that this film is being marketed as a straight-up horror film; because after watching it, I can say with much confidence that it's anything but. "The Woman" is more like a provocative and deeply perturbing drama with a blood-soaked finale; in which explosions of brutal violence come from all directions, lending it the label of a horror-show. Still, if you're observant of time; you'll notice that the nastiness only really starts in the last twenty minutes of the movie, although it's quite apparent that the film has been building up a whole lot of hatred and stark nihilism throughout the other eighty. Disturbing, pretty much from beginning to end, "The Woman" is perfect anti-entertainment; there wasn't a moment that I can say I actually enjoyed watching it, although it drew me in more than half the films of last year even had the potential or chance to, and I'm mighty grateful for that. It's directed with style, yes, but I think above all it should be admired and respected for the script; which shows great empathy and understanding for its characters, consistently messing with our perceptions of good and evil.
The Cleek family is an all-American one; a textbook example of their kind. They commute to their community, socialize within their home, and care for one another. And hey, look at that, even dad has a recreational pastime. The members of the Cleek household are father/husband Chris (Sean Bridgers), mother/wife Belle (Angela Bettis), adolescent son Brian (Zach Rand), young child Darlin (Shyla Molhusen), and teenage daughter Peggy (Lauren Ashley Carter). Every member of the family has their own issues: by the end we're convinced that dad's a psychopath, mother is genuinely weak and anything but strong-willed, son is quicker to ponder adulthood than most, and daughter is a depressed Goth Girl, minus the piercings. But these problems are just going to keep on stacking up upon one-another; as the biggest of big problems has yet to rear its ugly head.
Father - Chris - likes to hunt; and one night, he partakes in a rather eventful trip to the nearby woods. While scoping out potential prey with his weapon of choice, he spots a primitive woman (Pollyanna McIntosh) bathing in the creek. Entrapped by her alluring figure, Chris vows to return the next day and capture her, which he does. He then brings the woman home, has her hung by chains in the backyard cellar, and proceeds to devise a family-wide plan to properly "civilize" his discovery. She is underdeveloped, and cannot speak the English language like we do; instead communicating through aggressive snarls and peculiar teething methods (in a particularly gruesome scene, she bites Chris's ring finger clean off). The women of the family disapprove of them keeping this "thing" in their basement; although it's Brian who eventually sides with his old man, desperate to become on himself. In the next few days, we'll witness the dark side of humanity; one character at a time.
Say you've got a weak stomach, and you cringe at the thought of films such as "Hostel" and "Saw". If this is indeed the case, you definitely don't want to be seeing "The Woman"; for it is the kind of movie that is relentless towards personal preference or feeling. I mentioned earlier that it's only terribly bloody in its final moments, and I stick to my word, but there's an ever-building sense of dread throughout (not to mention some absolutely disgusting scenes in which Chris feeds the woman) that makes the film incredibly disturbing. It's a difficult watch, and it's generated some controversy over "misogynistic themes", but I object. In my eyes, it's a strictly feminist film; and if it's cynical towards any group of people, it's humanity as a whole. The film is not selective of gender, race, or social class; it tells a story in which just about everyone is evil, depending on your definition of the term.
A lot of people who see this movie are going to either hate it or love it. Nevertheless, you probably won't enjoy it. "The Woman" is not entertainment, but at the same time, it's not offensive or particularly exploitative either. Through dark humor and tense horrors, it creates scathing social commentary on those who we consider "normal" or "civilized". Its themes and messages have been done before, yes, but most Hollywood movies would have either sugarcoated the ideas that it has on its mind, or they wouldn't have dealt with them at all. This is a flawlessly acted, brilliantly directed art-house horror-drama with enough on its mind to engage and intrigue. It was ultimately compelling enough for me to care about its characters and resonate with its message. At this point, I don't care what anyone says: this is a fantastic film, unpleasant and strange as it is.
"The Woman" was written and directed by Lucky McKee; a sequel to Jack Ketchum's "Offspring", which got an absolutely brainless film adaptation. McKee has once again startled and moved me simultaneously, just as he did with his darkly beautiful "May", which was one of my favorite horror films of this past decade. "The Woman" once again proves that he has a voice; and it deserves to be heard. I can neither recommend nor discourage you from seeing the film; all I know is that I found it to be kind of brilliant. It got under my skin, it made me think a whole lot, and it's not a cheap morality tale; you know, the kind that I feared it might have been. But McKee does not disappoint. He has a vision, and even if it's an uncompromising and unforgiving one, he isn't afraid of anything. He survived the criticism and backlashing that "The Woman" received after its initial screening at the Cannes Film Festival, and this is where the movie has brought him. Through repulsion and disgust, he evokes a much deeper sadness that lies beneath. I hope people will see and admire the film; although I would also expect they'd cease to enjoy it, for to do so would be shameless and perverse.
November 2, 2011
Centering around a country family whose patriarch takes captive and tries all means to "civilize" a woman of the wild, "The Woman" will unsettle the viewer, not just with its content matter but also with its production values. It was gritty and has its fair share of gore that made me squirm in my seat. A set of original songs went surprisingly well with the scenes, which made each performance, cut and edit more interesting. Twists and turns take the story to an unpredictable direction and when it came down to the final act, it left me quite speechless for both the right and wrong reasons.
fb100001266995067May 5, 2012
In a film that raised a lot of controversy at Sundance we follow a family whos main man Mr. Cleek captures a woman who they are trying to civilize. As Mrs.Cleek questions this decision Mr.Cleek slaps her and casually goes back to bed. You'd think this would be a first warning sign, or maybe a second the first being that he captured a woman. Later in on the film the son of the family takes a peek at the woman inside the cellar to see his father raping her, the next day the son takes the same action while masturbating to himself torturing the women. The wife snaps after Mr.Cleek makes it seem like it's perfectly fine and "boys will be boys", after she announces shes leaving him he bets her and directs his oldest daughter Peg to get her a cold towel. When it gets really weird is when the teacher comes, and I'll let you watch that scene on your own. Lucky McKee takes risks and I respect that, it was controversial and well rightfully so. He wanted to shock us and he did.
October 19, 2011
August 1, 2011
For those not in the know, this truly disturbing film is the follow-up to Andrew van den Houten's Offspring , an adaptation of the book of the same name by Jack Ketchum which I have not yet seen and after watching this one, I am not in the mood to do so anytime soon. When all is said and done, The Woman is a must-see for only those who think they can handle the content. A successful estate lawyer named, Chris Cleek, captures and attempts to "civilize" the last remaining member of a violent clan, The Woman who finds herself alone, severely wounded and vulnerable when the last of her family is killed in a battle with the police. Now you might ask yourself why someone would find a wild woman in the woods and want to keep her as a pet of sorts but as this movie progresses we notice that Chris and his family aren't really what most of us would call "normal." It doesn't take a psychiatrist to immediately see that this guy has a few screws loose. His eldest daughter, Peggy (Lauren Ashley Carter), is pregnant and one can only assume that the child was conceived via incest. The son, Brian (Zach Rand), is definitely following in his father's footsteps while the wife (Angela Bettis) is the timid and meek housewife that is completely oblivious to her surroundings. This leaves us with the youngest daughter, who is also a victim, but more to the point, she is about 8 and doesn't really understand what is going on. Let this be a moral lesson to you: You should never try to capture women you find in the woods and attempt to tame them as though she is new dog for you to break, train, and condition or turn her into sex slave punching bag.
fb100000185301014December 16, 2011
Silence is the scariest thing ever. The woman is Lucky Mckee's masterpiece, although predictable, the film still offers many surprises. Excellent performance from the cast, the dark side of the family was finally revealed at the end, it was disturbing. Men are truly evil, the film's disandric metaphor was presented well, the woman herself was not purely evil, instead the capturer is the most evil. I would never want to become a social worker after watching this film. It offers a definite ending that makes me cheer, good on you Lucky and Angela!!!
November 17, 2011
Great, unsettling horror. A seemingly ordinary family man feels he has to protect his family, so when he sees a woman who appears to be very different from your average female in the woods near his house he captures her and locks her in a barn in the garden in order to "educate" her. Unfortunately the man has some strange and fucked up ideas when it comes to education and we get to see the lengths this man, and certain members of his family, will go to in his claims of protecting each other.
The Woman has an unsettling feel throughout as we explore the possibilities of what goes on behind the closed doors of "normal folk" and this does get pretty dark at times but you can't ignore the talents of director Lucky McKee and the cast, including Angela Bettis who stared in McKee's brilliant May, a few years back, who really throw thmselves into it.
The ending might be to much for some as it turns from dark horror/drama to almost exploitataive splatter but its very well done, I think, as it just throws something unexpected into the mix. Maybe not for everyone, but The Woman is a brutal and powerful horror film.
October 9, 2011
"The Woman" is the sequel of the terrible "Offspring" which I will always remember for how bad it was and how good its sequel is. The story of the present movie itself was very original, but the execution is truly what was the best about this whole film. The score for the film is actually pretty great. Every single song really did a good job of complimenting the mood of each scene. There were some pretty gross scenes but it is not nearly as disturbing as some critics make it out to be.
This was a very enjoyable and a different horror film that I don't give it a higher because the ending seemed a bit rushed.
September 30, 2011
This "who is the real monster" flick isn't worth the hype it's been getting. The concept is not that original and I found some of the acting to be completly over the top and silly, specially from the fatherly figure and the son. Also, some secondary characters feel that they're just there to increase the body count and shock effect which backfires, as some of these surprises are just not plausible and dig deeper into some holes the story has.
Also the soundtrack got on my nerves so badly, I literally wanted to turn down the volume on more than one ocasion. It's insistent and pointlessly indie.
Props for some ideas that hang around and for being rather well shot but other than that, not worth the fuss.
fb651221910January 9, 2014
Scathing screed against misogyny and a weird sorta female-empowerment tale, wrapped up with a healthy dose of exploitation. Any controversy it generated isn't really necessary, since the movie wears it's intentions on its sleeve; every character is a caricature (The Controlling Husband, The Enabling Wife, The Woman herself an obvious symbol of oppression and righteous vengeance) that you wait for the story to break free and upend expectations (it doesn't) In fact, the satire is SO thick, it's strange when some elements remain weirdly obtuse. And yet, it's massive effective for most of its running time, nonetheless.
August 11, 2013
I got 25 minutes into it, and got too bored. The plot seemed utterly pointless and some of the dialogue was unintentionally funny.
December 14, 2012
First off, great soundtrack and it was used well in the movie. The acting was really good and so was the script. The filming and overall creepy atmosphere, along with the makeup, were all well done. The main male actor does an amazing job at creating a hateable villain. Would liked to have seen the wife's character be a little stronger, but wow, what an ending. Definitely a bit too long though.
November 21, 2012
The Woman (2011) -- [8.5] -- A man captures a feral woman and chains her up in his cellar, calling upon his wife and kids to help him 'civilize' her. "The Woman" makes bold play of gender dynamics that will leave some viewers crying 'misogyny', 'misandry', or both -- but I applaud writer/director Lucky McKee (May, The Woods) for his provocative exploration of the material. The film features outstanding performances from Sean Bridgers as the disarming but volatile father figure, Angela Bettis as his beleaguered wife, and Pollyanna McIntosh in the namesake role. Didn't care so much for the soundtrack, but it's a minor gripe in a film I already liked well before the third act had me sitting on the edge of my seat in giddy anticipation. It's one of those films where the more outrageous it gets, the more perfect it becomes. The ending is exquisite. Definitely one of the best horror films I've seen in years.
September 19, 2012
Essentially the Anti-Edward Scissorhands, that is more shallow than anything, though it would like to pretend it's something more.
June 18, 2012
pretty depraved and mean spirited, with no one to really root for, or any redeeming or hopeful aspects, i really hated that dad and the son, and then how the wife and daughter just took his abuse, the movies still well made, and i was always interested, its not as good as luckys previous film may, but i suppose i shouldve expected the deparvity here, as its co written by jack ketchum, who wrote the girl next door, which is beyond disturbing
May 31, 2012
Creepy. Suspenseful. And an all around twisted tale. The woman of the woods, as feral as they come. And a crazy politician's attempts to 'civilize' her into his abused family. A dark horror with a vein all of its own. And a game to prove who is more brutal.
May 24, 2012
I like that this movie doesn't feel the need to explain everything, but it lets you figure out stuff naturally. I think that Angela Bettis gives one of the best performances, especially when things build and build until she finally has enough.
May 24, 2012
Disturbing and effective tale of madness and gender politics from Lucky McKee and Jack Ketchum. Sean Bridgers does a great job as the creepy and seriously disturbed head of a not-so-normal family. Be aware that it does use violence and gore to explore its themes, so it is not for all tastes. Some have called the film misogynistic, though others have argued effectively that the film is a "feminist parable". I side w/ the later opinion. Also of note, this is a sequel to "The Offspring". Having not seen that film, I can say this film can be watched and enjoyed without having seen its predecessor.
fb677587177May 23, 2012
I found this movie to be incredibly disturbing. Unfortunately it takes the gorefest several steps too far- without that, it would have been a much better film. But the story is incredibly creepy and haunting, and the performances are great. I had never heard of this movie, but I'm glad I watched it. Kind of. Word to the wise, though: If you are easily disturbed or have a weak stomach, you'd be better off skipping this one.
fb555928095April 2, 2012
Brutal and twisted, The Woman was a stylish and dark look at the underbelly of patriarchal oppression. Unfortunately, it is also a film I have seen before (Girl Next Door, Dead Girl, etc.). A cheesily optimistic ending detracts from the otherwise dark message of the film.
fb100000196560296February 23, 2012
this is not a film for scares but rather one that goes back to the heart of horror by using gore and violence to touch on social issues and Lucky Mckee does a great job with women's rights in man world here in this disturbing film